43 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2002
Date Written: May 2002
Previous literature finds mixed empirical support for a relation between exchange rate exposure and its theoretical determinants and that exposure is of negligible economic importance. To re-examine the nature and the economic significance of the exchange rate to firm value relation, we construct an international database of over 17,000 non-financial firms from 18 countries. We find that firms' foreign activity is broadly and significantly related to exchange rate exposure and that after controlling for this activity, large firms are more sensitive to currency movements than small firms. Using a portfolio approach to investigate the economic importance of these effects, we find that firms with high international sales outperform those with no international sales during periods of large currency depreciations by 0.72 percent per month, whereas they underperform by 1.10 percent per month during periods of large currency appreciations. Exchange rate movements have an economically significant impact on firm value in ways that are consistent with theory.
JEL Classification: G15, G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation